Sport plays an important role to destination branding

A recent survey in PRWeek/OnePoll asked 3,000 members of the public if they believed that hosting the World Cup tournament in South Africa would help it become a favorable destination. The results were that 72% believed it would.

However, the issues became apparent when asked about the country’s safety – but people still believe that the World Cup and its media attention can help the country improve this negative image.

When it comes to destination branding, sports events are brilliant ways of marketing the county – if done well. Using sports to brand a place has the power to bring a positive perception or a negative one. If we look at the Olympic Games in Beijing – this caused problems for their perceptions by audiences as it did showcase internal problems the country has – climate and traffic conditions.  This shows how placing a country in the worlds limelight can put it in a vulnerable position. From this, it is important that the country and its tourist board partners make sure that not only the football and fans are in the media attention, but also the countries native people and their charms too. This does require a strategic PR plan, prepared well in advance to action throughout the games and into the future to carry on the publicity. South Africa need to make sure they are not forgotten after the games end, but carry on their (hopefully) good legacy of holding the World Cup and being a great destination for the world’s tourists.


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